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The following is an article done by Kyra Xavia that I and come across in a magazine (Organic NZ – January/February 2013):

The dangers of
Aspartame


Aspartame is a highly addictive artificial sweetener and flavour enhancer, used in over 10,000 products worldwide. Produced by genetic engineering, aspartame is incorrectly classified as an additive, when it is in fact an excitotoxic and neurotoxic drug, supposedly developed to treat peptic ulcers.


Misleading claims

Since its creation, aspartame has been known to cause cancer, and only received approval by the American Food and Drug Agency (FDA) through fraudulent means. Since then, advocates of aspartame and relied upon numerous flawed industry-funded studies (which avoided the detection of ill effects). This has resulted in the misleading claim that aspartame is one of the most studied food additives – and therefore, is the safest food additive ever made. Yet as more research is done and more people become aware, the harmful effects of aspartame are harder to ignore.

 

Aspartame linked with cancer

IN 2012, the first most comprehensive human study of aspartame toxicity, spanning 22 years, revealed an association between aspartame intake and blood cancers. In 2011, in response to research linking aspartame consumption to premature births as well as an increased risk of cancer, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) brought forward the re-evaluation of its safety from 2020. It is currently conducting a full review, and findings are scheduled for release in May 2013. However, previous review committees and been stacked with industry scientists that and maintained aspartame’s safety.


Widespread use

Aspartame is predominantly used in sugar-free, low-fat and diet products, chewing gums and sports drinks. It’s also added to pharmaceuticals, medications, supplements, and personal care products, but might not be labelled as aspartame because there is no requirement to do so. Brand names include Aminosweet, Equal, Nutrasweet, Spoonful, and NutraTaste. It can also be listed as 951, and sometimes labels will only say ‘contains phenylalanine’.

 

Negative health effects

Aspartame is made up of aspartic acid (40%), phenylalanine (50%) and methanol (10%). Although these substances do occur naturally in various foods (a fact that is often used to imply aspartame’s safety) – all three forms present in aspartame and neurotoxic effects on the human body (A neurotoxin overstimulates nerve cells until they die). Not only that, but methanol is deadly to humans because it cannot be broken down safely. Instead, it is metabolised into formaldehyde, a recognised carcinogen. Aspartame can also form a harmful byproduct called diketonepiperazine (DKP), an agent linked to brain tumours. Despite claims to the contrary, the acceptable daily allowance (ADI) set for aspartame is not a safe guide. This is of concern considering that recent research reveals aspartame is particularly dangerous for pregnant women and the developing foetus in the womb. Alarmingly, Diabetes NS’s website states that aspartame is safe during pregnancy. If this wasn’t enough, aspartame interacts with many medications, as well as having a synergistic effect with some food additives such as MSG (621, another excitotoxin and neurotoxin), and other artificial sweeteners.

 

Increased appetite and carbohydrate craving

Finally, there is no adequate research that proves aspartame helps with weight loss; there is, however, research that shows that aspartame induces carbohydrate craving, increases appetite, ruins the body’s ability to register satiety (the feeling of having had enough to eat), interferes with metabolism, and causes weight gain. Unfortunately, many people still believe artificial sweetened foods and drinks with reduced calories can help fight obesity and prevent or manage diabetes – when in fact aspartame has been contributing to and worsening these problems all along. With organisations such as the NZ Nutrition Foundation, Diabetes NZ, Food Standards Australia NZ, NZ Food Safety Authority and Weight Watchers supporting the use of this neurotoxic drug, the public has every reason to be concerned.

 

What can you do?

  • Avoid artificial sweeteners
  • Use natural sweeteners such as honey, unrefined organic molasses and stevia in moderation instead.
  • Read the labels of supplements and pharmaceutical products very carefully.
  • Ask your pharmacist if your medications contain aspartame and request safer alternatives.
  • Contact www.safefood.org.nz for more information.
  • Boycott products that contain aspartame and voice your concerns to manufacturers and regulatory agencies.
  • Find manufacturers’ pages on Facebook and post comments on their wall.


Report suspected reactions

If you, or someone you care about uses products with aspartame, and have ailments that elude treatment, avoid all aspartame for a month. If after this, you are convinced that symptoms were caused by aspartame, contact the following:

Food Standards Australia NZ,
Phone 04 978 5630
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NZ Food Safety Authority
Phone 0800 693 721
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Where is it found?

Be aware that aspartame may be included under ‘inactive’ ingredients.

  • Drinks such as Zero Coke, Pepsi Next, L & P Sweet As, Bundabert Diet ginger beer, Sparkling flavoured spring water, tea and coffee beverages, juices, milk drinks, cocoa mixes, wine coolers and instant liquid breakfasts.
  • Cereals, yoghurt, sweets, desserts, table-top sweeteners and topping mixes, etc.
    Weight Watcher products such as desserts, drinking chocolate, and sweetener.
  • Supplements such as chewable vitamins, minerals, and vitamin C tablets (including Healtheries Kidscare Fizz Bombs and Boost products, Berocca effervescent tablets), sports drinks, protein powders and meals for the elderly and ill).
  • Personal care items such as toothpaste, mouthwash, Listerine Pocketpak breath strips, breath mints, sugar-free chewing gum, lip gloss, lubricants, spermicides and flavoured condoms.
  • Over-the-counter products such as Neurofen for Children Meltlet Orodispersible tablet 100mg strawberry flavour, Lemsip, Vicks throat lozenges, Gaviscon, Gastrolyte powder, Alka-Seltzer, Panadol Rapid, Panadol Cold & Flu Citrus effervescent tablet, Zantac effervescent tablet, cough syrups, laxatives, Imodium melts orodispersible tablets, bulking agents like Metamucil and Mucilax.
  • For a full list of medications containing aspartame, see www.euphory.com/medications-containing-aspartame.

 

 Common symptoms

  • Some common symptoms caused by aspartame ingestion include: abdominal pain, changes in vision, cramps, diarrhoea, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, memory loss, nausea, poor balance and vomiting.
  • Some psychological symptoms include: anxiety, bipolar or manic depression, hallucinations, mood swings, paranoia, rage, suicidal tendencies and violence.
  • Chronic conditions linked to aspartame intake include Alzheimer’s disease, birth defects, blindness, brain tumours, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, lymphoma, lupus, Parkinson’s disease, mental retardation and Multiple Sclerosis.

A more comprehensive list can be found at www.euphory.com/aspartame-poisoning-symptoms.

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